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Pets Eating Pot: Effects Could Last Several Days

By Stan Bush

DENVER (CBS4)- Patty Moore thought her 10-year-old Golden Retriever, named Chance, was deathly ill when the dog couldn't stand to eat.

"She couldn't get back down stairs," says Moore. "It was like her legs didn't work at all."

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Patty Moore with her Golden Retrievers (credit: CBS)

Moore took Chance to a local veterinarian who saw the dog's lethargic behavior and immediately diagnosed the dog as being high on marijuana.

"We really thought there was something seriously wrong with her," said Moore.

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Chance (credit: CBS)

Moore thinks her dog ingested a marijuana edible on a walk through Denver's Highlands neighborhood a few days after April 20, when the city hosted the country's largest pro-marijuana celebration.

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(credit: CBS)

Veterinarians say when a dog ingests marijuana the animal could be high for several days. If caught early, veterinarians can try to make the dog throw up before edible forms of the drug is fully digested. After a few hours, veterinarians say the best a dog owner can do is provide supportive care for their pet.

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CBS4's Stan Bush interviews Dr. Allison Jenkins of Highlands Animal Clinic in Denver (credit: CBS)

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"Generally, as far as toxicity goes, marijuana is a pretty safe one," said Dr. Allison Jenkins of Highlands Animal Clinic in Denver. "It's much worse if your dog gets into ibuprofen or prescription drugs."

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(credit: CBS)

While there have been fatal cases of pets ingesting marijuana, veterinarians say it would take an extremely concentrated dose of THC, like a large quantity of the raw butter used to make edible marijuana, to do so. Stoned pets, however, are not rare. Some veterinarians say they see five or six pets exhibiting marijuana-use side effects every week.

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Patty Moore with her Golden Retriever "Chance" (credit: CBS)

"They seem drunk. A dog that is depressed, lethargic and appears drunk or stupefied," said Jenkins.

Vets say just licking the wrapper to a marijuana edible might be enough to get a dog high.

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Chance (credit: CBS)

Moore says Chance has fully recovered, but wants marijuana users to be more conscientious, "Just so that people are more aware how their habits can affect other people and animals."

Stan Bush is a general assignment reporter at CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 10. Read his bio and follow him on Twitter @StanBushTV.

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